SuperHero Muffins + 5 Healthy Muffin Links

 

Happy New Year!  Here is a simple and healthy muffin recipe adapted from Run Fast. Cook Fast Eat Slow. by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.  I highly recommend this cookbook!

A 2019 goal of mine is to spend more time in this space because I know it is good for me and it’s time to focus on a little more on self-care.  More recipes and stories to come soon. Thank you for reading!

Superhero Apple-Carrot Muffins

Recipe Adapted from Run Fast. Cook Fast Eat Slow.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup old fashion oats

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

½ cup golden raisins

3 eggs

1 cup grated Granny Smith apple (about 1 apple)

1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots, peeled)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Position rack in the center of the oven.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with liners.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave.  Set aside.

Grab a large bowl and combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, kosher salt, chocolate chips, and raisins.  Set aside.

Grab a separate medium-sized bowl and whisk together the eggs, apple, carrots, melted butter, syrup, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Add the batter to the prepared muffin cup, filling it to the top.  Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.  Allow muffins to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an air-tight container.  These muffins taste great warm with a healthy slab of butter on top.  Enjoy!

5 Healthy Muffins Links

Cookie and Kate is one of my favorite food blogs.  Check out Kate’s recipes for healthy apple and blueberry muffins.  They will not disappoint!

If you love banana chocolate chip muffins head to Sprouted Kitchen for a healthy take on a delicious classic.

This muffin recipe from WholeHearted Eats is next on my must make list.  Check it out!

Everyone needs a good tried and true bran muffin recipe.  Head to Food 52 for a blueberry-bran muffin recipe that looks delicious!

 

 

Warm Rice Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette + 5 Rice Salad Links

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Here it is.  My feel good, good for you January salad straight from Brooklyn Supper.  This beauty contains warm whole grain rice dressed with a light and bright blood orange vinaigrette made more complex with minced shallots and a good squeeze of mild honey. Rainbow Swiss chard is sautéed in a bit olive oil along with a sliced shallot and tossed into the salad; after all greens are a must (for many) in January.  Next come the add-on(s): raw pepitas, dried tart cherries, chives, peeled blood orange rounds and feta.  I could eat this pairing everyday.  And I did, until it disappeared.

Now back to sweets, after all January is almost over.

Warm Rice Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

very slightly adapted from Brooklyn Supper

Ingredients for vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon blood orange zest

3 tablespoons blood orange juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 olive oil

good squeeze of a mild honey

Directions:

Grab a small bowl and whisk together the blood orange zest, juice, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper.  Continue to whisk while slowly adding the olive oil.  Whisk until the dressing is well combined and thick.  Add a squeeze of honey. Whisk. Taste.  Repeat if you want it more sweet.

Ingredients for the rice salad:

1 cup dry black rice or wild rice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup raw pepitas

1/4 dried tart cherries

2 tablespoons EVOO

1 shallot, sliced

1 bunch of rainbow chard, chopped

3 medium blood oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons, chopped chives

1/2 cup feta cheese (optional but delicious)

Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions.  Strain excess water and toss cooked rice with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette.  Set aside.

Using a medium skillet, sauté (medium heat) the sliced shallots in the olive oil until they just begin to brown, about 2 minutes.  Add the chopped chard and a bit of sea salt.  Continue to sauté until the chard begins to wilt, about 5 minutes.

Add the shallots and chard to the rice.  Add the cherries, pepitas and more dressing.  Toss.  Taste.  Add salt, if needed.  Place blood orange rounds throughout the salad.  Lastly, top the salad with the feta, chives and a bit of black pepper.  Serve and enjoy!

**Salad will last refrigerated in an airtight container for several days, though it is best the day it is made.  Eat cold, at room temperature or heated up a little in the microwave.**

5 Rice Salad Links You Can’t Miss!

Looking to be or stay healthy this month?  Head to Del Sole’s for Licias’s take on a superfood salad.

If you love pomegranate seeds you need to check out Pinch of Yum’s pomegranate, kale, wild rice salad with walnuts and feta.

If this salad was my last meal on earth, I would die happy.  Head to one of my favorite blogs, Cookie and Kate for the recipe.

When corn and nectarines are once again abundant, I plan on making Not Without Salt’s green rice salad with nectarines and corn.  Summer, summer, summer…

The kitchn’s chopped brown rice salad with grapes and pecans is a salad I plan on making very soon because I am done with grilled cheese crusts and Sunbutter sandwiches…for now. 🙂

Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad + 5 Salad Meal Links!

scs169Never underestimate the power of a good lunch to see you through the day, a fresh meal full of color and crunch that keeps one foot moving in front of the other.  Put down your take out container or child’s leftover sandwich crusts and eat a meal that treats your body kindly.  If we care for our bodies like we care for our families and jobs imagine how we could run.

Loaded with raw slivered almonds, fresh strawberries and thinly sliced green onions, this chicken salad sustains you through your afternoon.  A goat cheese and buttermilk dressing with a bit of honey and chopped tarragon lightly coats the shredded, store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts.  Earthy baby spinach rounds out this slightly sweet and creamy chicken salad.  Serve with a couple of pieces of fresh crusty bread or not, roll it into a wrap or eat directly out of the bowl; whatever suits you.

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Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad with Balsamic Goat Cheese Dressing

Goat Cheese Dressing Slightly Adapted from the Food Network

Serves 4

Ingredients for Balsamic Goat Cheese Dressing:

4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Pinch of Kosher salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Directions:

Grab a medium bowl and whisk together the goat cheese and buttermilk until smooth.  Next, add the honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper, salt and chopped tarragon leaves.  Season to taste with additional salt and/or pepper.   Set aside.

Ingredients for Chicken Salad:

1 rotisserie chicken,  breasts shredded

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 green onion, finely sliced

handful of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

balsamic glaze ( I bought a bottle, but you can also make your own.)

Handful of baby spinach, washed and dried

Optional:

Crusty bread, grilled

whole wheat wraps

store-bought croissants

Directions:

Remove the breasts from  your store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred using two forks.  Place shredded chicken in bowl with goat cheese dressing.  Next add almonds and the green onion.  Mix together until combined.  Gently fold in strawberries.  Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Scoop out a good portion of chicken salad and place on a bed of baby spinach.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Serve with grilled crusty bread, whole wheat wraps, or store- bought croissants.  Enjoy!

5 Salad Meal Links

I love fruit in chicken salad, but watermelon?  Pinch of Yum’s Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad is on my must try list.  I’m so curious about this recipe.  I think my kids might even eat it!

Looking for a hearty vegetarian salad? Check out Edible Perspective’s recipe for avocado pesto chickpea salad.

Peach and roasted vegetables sounds like summer in a bowl.  Head to Love and Lemons for the recipe.

Girl Verses Dough created a new spin on tuna salad: Brussels sprouts tuna salad.  Yum!

It’s Thursday and the weekend is almost here.  Treat yourself and make Joy the Baker’s easy spinach and strawberry chopped salad.

 

Roasted Citrus Salad + 5 Bright Winter Salad Links!

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We are in the thick of it.  Winter, that is.  The days are cold, dense gray clouds hide the sun most of the time.  The plants and trees sleep peacefully, unresponsive to the winter light.  I search for color.  I find it in my daughter’s hazel green eyes, my new nephew’s perfect pink lips, the seldom blue sky; the occasional holly bush I spot on my morning run.  I would welcome a foot of snow, now.  Anything to brighten up this fallow landscape.

Fake it til’ you make it.  Do what you need to.  So I hop in my car, crank the heat and drive to the grocery store.  I linger in the produce and flower sections.  The colors and fragrance sooth my winter weary spirit.  I grab as much citrus as I feel necessary.  Blood oranges, lemons and a few apples.  Every so often, I grab a bouquet of out of season tulips or daffodils.  Spring will come, it has to.

rsc0006DI eat one blood orange, hoping the vitamin c will help my immune system fight the latest stomach bug that plagues our house.  I slice another blood orange, remove the seeds and marvel at the color.  I grab a lemon and slice it.  The bright smell wakes me up.  I toss the citrus with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them at 425F for about 15 minutes.  Roast? Yes.  According to Bon Appetit, the high heat will caramelize the natural sugar and add depth to the fruit.  They seem to know what they are talking about.  While the citrus cools I prep the rest of the salad.

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I rip apart the kale and massage it with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Within a few minutes the kale softens and becomes edible.  I toss the kale into a large bowl with the prepared onion and roasted citrus.  Add a quarter cup of silvered almonds for crunch and a bunch avocado slices for creaminess.  I drizzle the entire salad with a tablespoon of agave nectar and season it with a bit more sea salt and pepper.  After I gently toss the salad, I take a big bite.  Healthy and fresh, this citrus salad is just what I need to get through these winter days.

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Roasted Citrus, Kale + Avocado Salad

A healthy kale salad with roasted citrus, avocado and silvered almonds.  A few slices of red onion add a nice bite and a drizzle of agave nectar balances the subtly tart lemons.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 blood orange, sliced 1/8″ thick, seeds removed

1 lemon, sliced 1/8″ thick, seeds removed (try to get a Meyer lemon, as they are a bit sweeter than a regular lemon)

4 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, ribs removed and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup mint leaves

1 avocado, sliced into wedges

1/4 cup silvered almonds

sea salt

1 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 425F.  Toss orange and lemon slices with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a bit of kosher salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet.   Roast the citrus for 10-15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes, until citrus starts to caramelize and is a bit charred.  Allow to cool.

Using a large bowl, mix onion with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and let stand for about 5 minutes.  (This process helps the onion soften a bit.)  Set aside.

Place prepared kale in a separate large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Massage the kale with your hands for 3-5 minutes.  The kale will soften a bit and that is a good thing!

Add kale, roasted citrus, mint and silvered almonds to the bowl with the onion.  Drizzle with scant 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar.  If necessary season with sea salt and pepper.  Just before you are ready to serve the salad, add the avocado and gently toss.  Enjoy!

5 Winter Salad Links  You Must Check Out!

I love candied pecans, especially when thrown into a salad.  If you like them too, check out two peas & their pod’s recipe for apple, grape, candied pecan salad with maple mustard dressing!

Need a go to green salad? Head to Cookie + Kate for Kate’s green salad with apples, cranberries and pepitas.  Yum!

Smitten Kitchen’s endives with oranges and almonds and spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette are on my must make list this month!

I love fresh dates.  I especially love when stuffed with cheese.  If you are a fan of cheese stuffed dates, check out Food 52’s recipe for citrus salad with goat-cheese stuffed dates.  My mouth is watering!

As many of you know, I am running the Boston marathon (my first marathon!) this year for a fantastic non-profit, YES, that helps Boston’s inner-city youth with outdoor, enrichment and leadership development programs.  Please consider making a donation to this fantastic charity.  Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.  Head to https://www.crowdrise.com/youthenrichmentboston2015/fundraiser/kellyfitzpatrick1 to donate online or learn more about YES.

Spring Chopped Salad + 5 Spring Salads for Mother’s Day

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I love salad, but lately I am in a salad making rut. Practically everyday, I make the same salad with the same salad dressing. The salad usually consists of mixed greens with whatever fruit or vegetables that we have sitting around. I always add goat or feta cheese, and maybe some pepitas. The salad dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette, the same one I’ve made for years. It tastes great, but my taste buds are bored. This week I felt wild. Time to shake things up, so I made a new salad: a spring chopped salad and it is awesome! (Ya, that’s how we shake things up around here. I know. Crazy, right?) My taste buds thanked me and so did Bubba!

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I saw purple asparagus at the market and had to buy it mainly because it is purple and pretty. Bubba noted its milder flavor. I agree. It is a bit milder than your typical asparagus. C loved the color and G said no thanks. (Such a polite boy!) If you see it at your local market give it a shot.

I think you could swap out whatever in season vegetables look good, but do not leave out the salami! You need the salami. The salami works so well in this salad especially when paired with cheddar, chives, mint and parsley. So don’t leave that out either.

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Be careful this salad is addictive! But hey, it’s salad. Enjoy it. The boys need me. Bye for now!

Spring Chopped Salad with Shallot + Cider Vinegar Vinaigrette

Recipe adapted by Not Without Salt

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for salad:

5 or 6 cups cut, rinsed and dried romaine, cut in 1-inch ribbons

1 bunch purple asparagus, blanched

1 cup chopped chives, mint and parsley

3 radishes, chopped

3 scallions, green parts, chopped

1 bunch green beans, blanched

1 cup garbanzo beans (If using canned, be sure to drain and rinse the beans.)

1 cup sharp cheddar, chopped

1 cup salami, chopped

1/4 cup pepitas (I didn’t toast them, but I bet they are great toasted.)

Ingredients for vinaigrette:

6 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp. finely chopped shallot

1 tsp. dried oregano

squeeze of honey

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.

Blanch asparagus and green beans and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss. Season salad with a bit of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Pour vinaigrette around the bowl and toss the salad to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!

**If you want to make this salad ahead of time do not dress it until ready to serve. Also, you can make this salad and dressing and eat it for a few days in a row; just don’t dress the entire salad. Be sure to store the salad and dressing in air tight containers in the fridge.**

5 Spring Salads for Mother’s Day

If you love arugula you should try this spring panzanella by Happy Yolks. This beautiful salad is a mix of fennel, arugula, spring peas and garbanzo beans. Yum! I bet your Mom will love it too.

Are you craving potato salad today? How about pickled spring onions and new potatoes together in a salad? Yes! Smitten Kitchen has the recipe for you. This salad looks like the perfect addition to any Mother’s Day brunch or picnic. Check it out!

I love sugar snap peas and so do the kids. This sugar pea and fennel salad by Gourmande in the Kitchen is sure to make an appearance on our dinner table this spring.

I can’t wait for Mother’s Day to make this strawberry and spinach salad by Gimme Some Oven. I want to eat this beautiful salad for lunch, today.

One of my new favorite blogs is Edible Perspective. I love Ashley’s photography and healthy recipes. Her spring salad with hemp seed dressing is sure to make your mom feel good next Sunday. Want to learn more about hemp seeds? Head here!

 

 

 

Fennel, Orange and Blueberry Salad with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette + 5 New Salad Recipes To Try Now!

fobs0017What is healthy? I am still figuring that out. Sure I try to “eat the rainbow.” I eat whole grains and unprocessed foods, but not always. I have a sweet tooth, a really big sweet tooth. I also love pasta, cheese, wine, beer and caffeine. Put a big juicy, cheeseburger in front of me and I’ll eat it, no problem. I don’t diet, but I try to stay balanced.  I like Julia Child’s famous quote “everything in moderation, including moderation.” I don’t deny myself certain foods. If I eat cheeseburger for dinner followed by a brownie one day, I’ll eat healthier meals the next day. I also love to run. Before I got pregnant with N, I ran 20-25 miles a week. 3 weeks ago I gave birth so I am still recovering, but I am getting antsy. I can’t wait to run again. I can’t wait to feel more balanced again.

Since I can’t run to help moderate the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I inhale daily, I eat fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal. Does it make me healthy? I don’t know, but it makes me feel better about eating cookies. I love a good salad, so when I found a recipe in September’s Bon Appetit for a fennel and orange salad with lemon-ginger vinaigrette, I gave it a shot. I adapted the recipe only slightly by adding raw agave nectar to the vinaigrette and blueberries to the salad. I also used baby kale instead of mustard greens. Bubba is not a fan of mustard greens so I opted for baby kale which has a more subtle flavor. The salad was a success, meaning even Bubba will eat it again! fobs0006I love fennel. It adds a great crunch to salads and I find the licorice flavor addictive.

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Skip store-bought croutons and make your own! I don’t usually add croutons to my salads, but this recipe called for them. Simply take a French baguette, slice it thinly and toast at 375 for 8-10 minutes. The little pieces of toasted bread soaked up the dressing perfectly and tasted so fresh!

fobs0025The thinly sliced fennel and toasted baguette slices give this salad a great crunch. The fruit’s soft texture is a nice contrast to the snap of the other ingredients. The baby kale adds subtle flavor to the salad. If you want a pronounced flavor, try kale or mustard greens. The lemon-ginger vinaigrette is bright and refreshing and a nice change from our staple balsamic vinaigrette. I took Bobby Flay’s advice and added a little salt and fresh ground black pepper to the salad before dressing it. Yum!

Fennel, Orange and Blueberry Salad with Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette

recipe barely adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/4 baguette, very thinly sliced

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

kosher salt

sea salt

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

a squeeze of raw agave nectar or to taste

2 navel oranges, peeled, pith removed, membranes removed

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, plus 1/4 cup of fennel fronds

4 oz. baby kale

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Slice the baguette and place it on a baking sheet. Toast for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and break into pieces.

To make the dressing: whisk together, in a large bowl vinegar, lemon, and orange zests, ginger and pepper. Season with kosher salt and whisk in olive oil.

Add the orange slices, blueberries, fennel, fennel fronds, baby kale and croutons to the bowl. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!

5 New Salads to Try Now!

I love panzanella. If you like panzanella, celebrate spring with Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for a delicious spring panzanella.

Everyone needs a good caesar salad recipe. If you don’t have one or you want a new recipe, April Broomfield has one for you.

I may need to make this chicken salad with balsamic cilantro dressing next week. Yum!

Weelicious is a great source for healthy, family friendly recipes. Check it out if you haven’t already. My kids may not eat this super food salad, but maybe yours will!

I love Ranch dressing, but I don’t love the calories or the fat. Not Without Salt has a lighter, healthier version of the classic. Give it a shot!

Sweet Corn Soup

_KH10026I love soup in the summertime, especially corn soup. The corn from our farm share is extra sweet now so I decided to make Alice Water’s Sweet Corn Soup. Bubba requested the soup after the excessive heat finally let up. 80 degrees with no humidity felt cool compared to what we just dealt with the past few weeks. I served the soup at room temperature with a salad and crusty bread from our local bakery. The perfect summer meal. Our almost 3-year-old gave it a shot and liked it, but our daughter refused. I wasn’t shocked. I hope her picky stage will end soon!

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The only tweak I made to her recipe is saving the shucked corn cobs and adding them to the broth when the soup is simmering. The cobs added additional corn flavor.

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After the soup simmers for a bit, remove the cobs and puree the soup in small batches in a blender.  You can serve it warm or at room temperature but I bet it tastes good cold as well. As long as you have sweet corn, this soup won’t disappoint you.

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Sweet Corn Soup

barely adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food

Ingredients

4 Tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

Kosher Salt

5 ears of sweet corn

1 quart of water (4 cups)

Toppings

Crème fraiche (optional) seasoned with savory herbs, salt and pepper

Chives or Scallions (optional)

Directions

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Set the kernels and cobs aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt + pepper and cook until soft about 15 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Add the kernels to the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cover with 1 quart of water (4 cups). Add the cobs and bring to a boil. After it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the soup in small batches. (Be careful when blending hot soup in a blender. Be sure there is an air vent to allow the steam to escape.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add suggested toppings if desired and enjoy!